Amherst woman collecting Christmas gifts for homeless animals for sixth year in a row

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Featured

Desiree Hernandez of Amherst has been obsessed with animals since she was a little girl.

“I’ve always had a love and passion for animals,” she said. “Right now I have a farm – three dogs and one cat who I just rescued last year from Purrfect Fit.”

So it only seemed fitting that when she came into adulthood, she would find a way to give back to our four-legged friends. Every year for the past six years, Hernandez has been collecting gifts for homeless animals around the holidays. It started off as small-scale effort, but quickly grew with the help of family and friends.

“It’s typically word of mouth. Everyone knows I do this ever year and they help me spread the word. I choose four different shelters or rescues to help,” she said.

Last year was her fifth year of collecting food, blankets, toys, treats, beds, collars, leashes and more and she wanted to go big! She received so many donations that she had to rent a U-haul to deliver them all.

“It was my dream to be able to fill a U-Haul with gifts for the animals and we did it! I was so excited. I get nothing from this but pure joy that I’m helping animals that don’t have homes,” she said.

Hernandez has already begun collecting gifts  for animals and plans on delivering them near the holiday.

“These animals don’t know any better, most are dumped and completely clueless as to why they are at the shelter. The least we can do is fill their bellies and give them a new toy or bed for Christmas.”

If you would like to donate a gift, you may do so by calling 716-418-0059 or email

A GoFundMe page has been launched for those who wish to contribute monetarily and then Hernandez will shop on Chewy with the donations. You can donate here:

Don't miss out on all the goodness happening in your community! Enter your email to receive our newsletter including sweet people, sweet businesses, sweet events, and more!

Enter your email to receive sweet things: